Validation of the Multi-Dimensional Student Perceptions of School Questionnaire (MSPSQ): Early findings and next steps


  • Mary-anne Macdonald Edith Cowan University
  • Eyal Gringart Edith Cowan University



Indigenous schooling, instrument validation, student perceptions, factor analysis, education utility


Research in Indigenous and non-Indigenous education in Australia over the last two decades has begun to turn towards quantitative methods of understanding various factors affecting student outcomes. The current article presents a new measurement instrument, the Multi-Dimensional Student Perceptions of School Questionnaire (MSPSQ), validated with a moderate-sized sample of secondary students in Western Australia (Indigenous: n = 244; non-Indigenous: n = 258; not stated: n = 34). The MSPSQ aimed to measure student perceptions of select experiences within the family, community and school which may factor in school engagement and beliefs regarding normative education behaviour and likely outcomes. Exploratory factor analysis indicated that the 46 scalar items in the MSPSQ adequately reflected 12 underlying constructs for the given sample. The MSPSQ was found to have robust total internal consistency (α = 0.85), as well as good measures of Cronbach’s alpha (α > 0.7) on six constructs of self-reported student experiences: Positive school culture, Student self-efficacy, Pathway development, Provision of study assistance, Family support, and Peer support. Five other constructs had moderate internal consistency (α > 0.6). These were Promotion of Indigenous culture, Access to a suitable study environment, Future aspirations, School importance, and Perceived benefit of education.


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Author Biographies

Mary-anne Macdonald, Edith Cowan University

Dr Mary-anne Macdonald is a lecturer in Aboriginal contexts in education and a former schoolteacher. Her PhD explored Indigenous students’ perceptions of the benefit of education, and her recent publications explore pedagogies and practices that enable non-Indigenous educators to engage with Aboriginal students and with Aboriginal knowledges in curriculum.

Eyal Gringart, Edith Cowan University

Dr Eyal Gringart is an expert social psychologist and an active researcher. He is versed in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and is well published. He has a keen interest in human rights, Aboriginal education and eradication of racism.


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How to Cite

Macdonald, M., & Gringart, E. (2022). Validation of the Multi-Dimensional Student Perceptions of School Questionnaire (MSPSQ): Early findings and next steps. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 51(2).